Jon Batiste is taking the summer off.
Tonight Stephen Colbert re-ran his episode from last Friday, which apparently no one paid attention to including me. Colbert, in an usual move, had Batiste, his band leader, as a guest. They talked music. It was lovely. And then Colbert announced that Batiste was taking the rest of the summer off from the show.
Colbert said, “See you in September.”
Batiste has already had a roller coaster year. He won the Grammy Award in January for his album, “We Are.” He also revealed that his wife, Suleika Jaouad, a 33 year old columnist and motivational speaker, has been battling acute myeloid leukemia since 2011.
I’m also told, although unconfirmed, that Batiste has left his manager of many years, Mick Management. He’s not listed on their website anymore. Batiste is, however, sticking with Creative Artists Management as his talent rep, however.
The bandleader has already been off Colbert for several weeks. This announcement of a three month break may have to do with his wife’s illness. In November 2021, the Batistes received the news that Suleika’s cancer, which was in remission, had returned – this time more aggressively.
Jon Batiste told CBS Sunday Morning: “We’re having to hold these two realities.”
Health has to be an issue in their household. On May 6th Batiste revealed he tested positive for COVID after performing at Anna Wintour’s super spreader Met Ball.
If Batiste is really taking the summer off then he’s going out with a bang. In the last week he performed at the Time 100 gala and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. On Friday Batiste performed on the Today show, and appeared on ABC’s Soul of a Nation. It’s unclear if he’ll have one off dates over the summer. But the pressure of doing a daily talk show is removed for the meantime.